Political thrillers are rare on American stages these days, but Voir Dire playwright Joe Sutton has crafted one for the Long Wharf Theatre. His latest, The Third Army, will have its world premiere Jan. 10-Feb. 11 on the company's Mainstage. Greg Leaming (Syncopation) directs.
In April 1945, the American Third Army withdrew from Czechoslovakia, leaving the liberation of Prague to the Soviets. The Czech Republic became communist, and the West heard little for 40 years. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Americans returned to the country, this time as economic warriors. In The Third Army, a group of Americans arrive hoping to rebuild a never-finished Soviet nuclear power plant in the small town of Hluboka. The city's young mayor, Pavel Marek, knows the dangers of bringing the plant to power — as well as the number of jobs and amount of money that would guarantee. For the Westerners to gain their lucrative building contract, they must convince Marek to risk the lives of his people (in order to save the lives of his people).
Sutton is the award-winning author of As It Is in Heaven, Special Interests, The Benefits of Doubt, Black Market, Hanky and Girlo, Democracy and Hearth and Home. Voir Dire was short listed for the Pulitzer Prize.
Starring in The Third Army are Carla Bianco (Alison Crawford), Meg Gibson (Diane Brodsky), Patrick Husted (Barry Axelrod), Neil Maffin (Pavel Marek) and Jan Triska (Lubo Brodsky).
The design team features The Green Bird's Christine Jones (sets), David Zinn (costumes) and Dan Kotlowitz (lighting). Original music was composed by Fabian Obispo. Tickets are $45-$15. For reservations, call (203) 787-4282.The Long Wharf Theatre is on the web at http://www.longwharf.org.
-- By Christine Ehren